Posts Tagged ‘stress’

It’s no secret that I love hot yoga. And when I head to a class, I make sure to prepare myself. I have two towels, two bottles of water (at least), and likely an extra shirt. Plus the mindset that hot yoga requires – it will be hard; you’ll sweat your ass off; and you’ll probably slip on the mat or floor at least once.

Last night, however, I chose a non-heated class.

I wanted something a little less strenuous, a little less slippery, and a little more centering.

Of course, I was stressed from leaving work late, rushed to the class and forgot my water bottle – not the best start to a lovely meditative practice. But I lay on mat, trying to relax and focus – secure in the knowledge that this class would be far cooler than I was used to. Just what I needed.

Not even 15 minutes in, I was already sweating.

Okay, I thought. There are a lot of people; it’s a smaller space. But the instructor is adjusting the thermostat – I’m sure he’s making it cooler.

Which was quickly followed by, but then why are there puddles around my mat? And damn me for forgetting my water!

I started wondering if it was even possible to do non-heated yoga in the DC summer. Maybe the heat and humidity just permeate everywhere. Maybe there’s no escape.

Until the instructor announced, “Sorry everyone. The thermostat isn’t working. I have the air on, but it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. Don’t worry, though. I’ll report it to the building management.

And suddenly all those little puddles made sense, and I was back to cursing my lack of water.

I tried to get back to my intention, but my mindset was all off. All I could think of was powering through, cooling off, and changing into clothes that weren’t dripping.

There was a moment during the final resting pose that I thought I might have found my center again. The room was dark and quiet, and I’d just gotten a grasp on my intention.

But as soon as the instructor asked us to sit up, all too soon, I might add, my first thought was, What a shitty shavasana.

Center: still lost.

I’m already signed up for several more classes next week – all non-heated – so here’s hoping that they fix the thermostat in time.

Or that I remember my water.

But preferably the thermostat. And a longer shavasana.

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Remember that stress I was telling you about? Well, I wish I could say it had subsided, but I’d be lying.

And apparently I’m not very good at hiding it either. BNF told me this morning that my face looked like “a bundle of nerves,” which, I suppose, is technically accurate, too.

(Side note: I wish my face also showed him how excited I am. But apparently it can’t multi-task.)

I’ve found that when it comes to wedding stress, like with most things, you can divide reactions into two categories.

First, you have the traditionally supportive group. These are the friends, co-workers, and parents who ask you how you’re doing. And they accept it when you say, “Everything’s going great – I really feel okay.” But they’re also not surprised when you go on a ten minute rant about all the little things that you know no one is going to notice but you.

In fact, sometimes they tell you, “I think you needed that. You looked too calm.

And then you have the other group, who likes to “lighten the mood.”

These are the friends and family who joke, wouldn’t it be funny if [nightmare x] happened? Or, wouldn’t it be funny if so-and-so stood up during the ceremonyI could totally see that happening!

Or, the text message I received from my younger brother (an usher for the wedding) yesterday.

They scheduled me [at work] over the weekend i cant make it…sorry.

Now, did I, for one second, believe that it was true? Of course not.

Do I want to smack him anyway? Maybe just a little bit.

Will it stop him from making jokes right up until the ceremony?

Not a chance.

I just hope he remembers this when it’s his turn.

*A coworker shared her favorite piece of advice: “‘Worry until Thursday,’ because after that you really can’t change much. You just have to let it happen.” So that has been my mantra. 

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When BNF and I got engaged and we started planning the wedding, I heard more advice than I’d bargained for. And occasionally more than I desired.

I was told how hard it would be, and how stressful. I was told how I’d have to do everything on my own, and how there were all these little details that I wouldn’t even think of.

Just wait,” PiC told me, “it’ll be a few days before the wedding and you’ll be writing out all the place cards by hand, while your fiance sits in front of the TV.”

I nodded and smiled, secretly thinking that I would be the one bride who would escape the stress.

After all, wedding planning was my happy place. When I was procrastinating on school work (and really, when wasn’t I?), I looked up table arrangements. When I was bored in class, I emailed vendors and nailed down schedules. And, contrary to PiC’s prediction, it wasn’t just me doing all the work – BNF has been amazing. Not just supportive, but involved.

But now we’re less than 20 days away, and apparently my psyche feels the need to make up for lost stress.

A sample:

    • Is it really okay to seat these relatives over here? Are they too far? Will they feel slighted?
    • What if someone shows up unexpectedly?
    • Will the set-up all go smoothly? Will I know?
    • What if my bridesmaids don’t like their presents? What if the flowers are wilted?
    • What if photos take too long? Or the ceremony takes too long? Am I allowed to give my pastor a time limit? (Note: I actually tried. He smiled, nodded, and gave me a figurative pat on the head.)

Logically and rationally I know that these things will be fine.

And I know that they are not what the wedding is all about. Not by a long shot.

But it is apparently impossible for me to not have something to stress over.

When everyone was giving me this advice, and telling me how stressful it would be, they also shared the “positive” side.

With all that stress you lose, like, five pounds in the month leading up to the wedding.”

Oh really?

Does the cheesecake sitting in my fridge know about this deal?

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April is shaping up to be a fairly busy month school-wise. I turned in a paper proposal today and realized that I have a paper due every week from now until May 3rd. Which is when my absolute last final is due. Yay…

It’s a good thing I had fun this past weekend, because it seems as though I’ll be spending the upcoming beautiful days in the library. *cringe*

But, on the positive side:

  • I won a basket of wine and goodies at the bridal shower I went to on Saturday – always a plus. (And maybe something to help me get through this last month of school…)
  • I exceeded my own expectations at the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler Sunday morning.

  • I went to my first Nats game of the season. And while I had to listen to the idiots behind me bash my boyfriend (Jayson Werth, of course, not the boyfriend), and the Nats lost, it was still a beautiful baseball day (if only slightly empty).

Here’s hoping that the next month goes smoothly and quickly and that the next time I’m back at the ballpark I won’t have anything due…at least within the next 24 hours.

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Finals count: 3 down, 1 to go.

The good: I turned in my two econ assignments yesterday and, barring a failing grade, I will never have to take another economics class. Ever again. That’s a Christmas present in and of itself.

The bad: I have yet to study for my International Affairs final that will take place in approximately 31 hours. I am, however, equating everything to globalization and balance of power, so maybe it’s sunk in more than I realized.

The heart attack: I turned in my history paper at the absolute last possible second last night, at 11:59pm. After it sent, I saw the clock turn over to midnight. Talk about sneaking in under the wire. (I guess technically this would be a “good,” but I thought I was going to vomit from the nerves.)

The saving grace: In 48 hours I will be on a plane, heading to Puerto Rico. I will not be stressing about school work; I won’t be able to compulsively check to see if my grades are posted; and, with any luck, I’ll come back with a tan in the middle of December.

That is, if I come back at all.

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Back in June I was struggling a bit with what to get the boyfriend for his birthday, when I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

Comedy show.

A little Googling of comedians led me to a show in New York (just a car ride away) by one of his favorites: Jim Gaffigan.

Now, maybe you’re like me, pre-boyfriend, and you don’t recognize the name. But you’d probably recognize the face and the voice. Take a little peek at one of my favorite skits:

And, if that’s not enough – another one of his more well-known ones.

In any case, the show was this past weekend (yes, I made the boyfriend wait almost 6 months for his main birthday present – though, I gave him the tickets back in June) and it did not disappoint. I could repeat the lines to you – I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t been quoting them back and forth to each other – but that wouldn’t do it justice.

It was most definitely worth the wait.

And, even though this was a birthday present for the boyfriend, the show, and the weekend, overall, was an oasis of calm for me in my stressful finals desert. Here’s hoping that it’ll be enough to get me through the week, with thoughts of Puerto Rico pushing me along as well.

While we’re at it, do you have any tried and true mechanisms for coping with stress? The laughter was great, but these breathing exercises can only do so much.

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I know Thanksgiving was a full week ago, but I have a few post holiday updates for you:

  • Thanksgiving in LA was wonderful. I met far more family than I had anticipated, had so much fun, ate amazing food, and learned how to make empanadas from the boyfriend’s mom!

(Hermanito responded by 1) not hating me (plus!), and 2) covering his car seats with Dodgers blankets that I was forced to sit on. I’ll take it.)

  • While the holiday was a blast, it wasn’t exactly relaxing. And no downtime means no time to work on the two papers and presentation that I had due earlier this week. Which all leads to a very stressed and tired Liebchen. Thankfully, those projects are now out of the way and I can start the countdown to finals – and after. In just two weeks we’ll be on our way to Puerto Rico and this semester will be behind me.
  • For now, I’ll be looking forward to a New York visit this weekend, testing out a latke recipe tonight, and buckling down to write just two more papers and study for two more finals.


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